It’s hard to overstate what a big deal Bill Cosby was in pop culture at one time. In his more than 50 years in showbiz, the 81-year-old comedian and star of The Cosby Show had garnered enough awards and honors to fill a small museum.
He began losing them in 2014, after comedian Hannibal Buress referenced accusations that Andrea Constand and other women had made against the formerly beloved TV star in a standup routine that went viral. Dozens of women, 60 in all, came forward with their own accusations. On Tuesday, as Cosby was sentenced to three to 10 years in Pennsylvania state prison for sexually assaulting Constand, he lost one more.
The Television Critics Association, which includes more than 200 TV critics and journalists nationwide, voted overwhelmingly to take back the Career Achievement Award given to Cosby in 2002. “This marks the first time the TCA has repealed an award,” according to a new release.
The same day, the Hollywood Chamber of Commerce declared that Cosby is not in danger of being kicked off Hollywood Boulevard. The star presented to him in 1977 will remain, according to a statement posted on the chamber’s official website: “The Hollywood Walk of Fame is a historical record of entertainment figures past and present. Once installed, the stars become part of the historic fabric of the Walk of Fame, a ‘designated historic cultural landmark,’ and are intended to be permanent. The stars only commemorate the recipient’s professional accomplishments. It is regrettable when the personal lives of inductees do not measure up to public standards and expectations; however, the Hollywood Chamber of Commerce does not remove stars from the Walk of Fame.”
Still, vandals have done their best to ensure that Cosby’s star is at the very least difficult to maintain. Someone scrawled “serial rapist” across it earlier this month.
Among the most significant honors that have been stripped from Cosby are two achievement awards bestowed upon him by the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts: his inclusion in the group of performers recognized in 1988 and the 2009 Mark Twain Prize for American Humor.
Cosby was also awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the highest honor an American civilian can receive, from President George W. Bush in 2002. President Barack Obama, who was in office when most of the allegations were levied against Cosby, said in January 2016 that there was “no precedent for revoking a medal.” An Obama spokesman noted that the president didn’t want the award to become politicized, with presidents revoking medals given by their forerunners simply because they were opponents.
When Cosby was convicted of crimes against Constand in April, he was kicked out of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, which hands out the Oscars, and was removed from the online list of the Television Academy’s Hall of Fame honorees. (He was allowed to keep his multiple Emmys, including the Bob Hope Humanitarian Award that he accepted in 2003.)
New York magazine contacted 42 colleges that had granted Cosby honorary degrees and found that, as of June, 33 of them, including the college he attended, Temple University, had revoked the honor.
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